Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Early Death Is Blight on Our Region; More People in North Die from Serious Illnesses

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Early Death Is Blight on Our Region; More People in North Die from Serious Illnesses

Article excerpt

Byline: JONATHAN WALKER and HELEN RAE

DEADLY diseases are more likely to kill people in the North East at a young age than elsewhere the UK, Government figures show.

Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt criticised "shocking" figures which showed many people on Tyneside have a significantly higher than average chance of dying from killer diseases including cancer, heart disease, lung disease or liver disease. Newcastle, Gateshead, Tyneside, Sunderland and County Durham were all identified as areas with high rates of premature death.

The figures were compiled for a report called Longer Lives published by Public Health England, a Department of Health Agency which works with the NHS and local councils.

It looked at the number of premature deaths, defined as deaths below the age of 75, in the 150 local authorities in England.

Sunderland recorded 3,180 premature deaths between 2009 and 2011, a death rate of 337 for every 100,000 residents, placing it 132nd in a league table of local authorities.

Newcastle-upon-Tyne had 2,589 premature deaths in the period, a death rate of 334 for every 100,000 residents, which put it 130th in the league table.

South Tyneside had 1,700 premature deaths, a death rate of 332 out of 100,000, which meant it was 129th out of 150 local authorities.

The one North East authority with a relatively good life expectancy was Northumberland, where there were 3,219 premature deaths between 2009 and 2011, a premature death rate of 267 for every 100,000 people - which is better than the national average and placed it 66th in the league table of councils.

Local councils have been given responsibility for public health from April 1 this year.

Mr Hunt said the figures were designed to make them aware of the challenges they face.

He said encouraging people to cut down on drinking and smoking, and to lose weight could help improve the statistics. …

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